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Author Topic: Two Dead Hives.. Discourged.  (Read 6755 times)
kathyp
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« Reply #40 on: January 27, 2011, 10:38:03 AM »

government has no agenda.  it's way better to have them funding science.  you get way better experiments too.  bet i don't even have to list any for a bunch to pop into your mind!

 business, science, whatever, is only as pure as the person running the thing at that moment.  governments on the other hand, are tax payer funded, institutionalized, petri dishes of corruption.  there's the rare benign bacteria mixed in, but for the most part, it's a case of fulminating corruption.   Wink
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
Trot
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« Reply #41 on: January 27, 2011, 11:57:54 AM »

Countryboy,

There is a report somewhere about that hive in the freezer.  I had that saved somewhere, cause years ago beeks demanded the scientific proof that bees don't die from cold.  But, I probably erased it, cause I, at that time, decided  that I have nothing to prove to nobody.  Let the record stand on its own!   Nothing to prove, especialy not, with work that others do, for whatever reason?  (most likely for personal gain?)
If you can't find it, it is possible that it don't exist any more.  A lot of scientific literature, that I save in "favourites,' is after a while useless, cause they do regularly remove such stuff from the sites.

About hot air hitting you in the face?

That is perhaps exactly the problem that is problematic?
I doubt that "hot" is realy that hot?  It is only warmer air that you feel.  You feel it more, cause around you is drier colder air.  Warmer air from the hive, hitting your face, is cause, warm-moist air raises in the cold, dry, winter air.  With a little wind one would not fill  a thing.
If you remember what I said?  It is this warm air that, at the point of contact, with colder surfaces condenses and causes moisture and even water problems - therefore killing many a hive.  If you are not further north from me, or some land-locked locale in the US where cold lingers and reaches extreme lows, insulating your hives is probably not necessary.   All one needs, in most cases, is a piece of homasote (some pour pounds and pounds of sugar on top of frames.  same effect, only that sugar is also emergency food in case the bees are on the verge of starvation)  On top of homasote one must immediately place about 2 inches thick piece of Styrofoam.  Of course an entrance in the rim of the inner cover with the notch facing down.  This notch, facing down, is very important. (must also be in front - same side as bottom entrance)  By facing down, the humid air will be drawn by chimney-effect out from under the inner cover.  There, under the inner cover is all the warmth which escapes through the top of the cluster.  Thus the false notion that bees heat the hive.  Believe me, if bees could, they would gladly pull all that heat back in for themselves.  Heat is good but moisture and CO2, bee breath and other gases produced by burning food - that must escape, go  somewhere.
If the notch is turned up, than trouble begins!  The humidity must move, right?  So, the air enters the bottom entrance travels up and across, through the cluster - this is cross-draft and should not be happening even in Summer, cause it cools the brood and Varroa only lives in the coldest parts of the nest.  That is why they go in drone brood.  Drone brood is always on fringes, in colder parts of the nest.  (ofcourse, to satisfy nitpickers) one will find drone brood in centre also if that is where drone-cells happen to be)
So, moisture vill have the only way to escape by going through centre hole in inner cover.  That hole is not meant for ventilation!  Inner cover was developed to be a tray for feeding and to separete the hive from the cover so the bees don't propolize the cover and render hive bomb proof.  
This is actually feeding hole over which one inverts a feeder pail or a glass jar.  In summer this hole is also meant to give bees access to the top of the cover so they can control ants, moth and whatever else might crawl in there.  it is absolutely not meant for ventilation - believe you me.  In summer I even cover those holes by placing a piece of 1/4" plywood over them.  I don't want no cross-draft going through my hives.  (I also have yet to see, in my hives, one single Varroa mite.  Yes, believe it or not - I have no mite problems.  I buy nucs to replenish my bloodline (my bees raise their own queens when they see fit) and those nucs are treated by previous owner at some time or other.  When I get them, I place them in special, old box (probably hopelessly contaminated?) when brood emerges I burn all.  Frames , Honey - all!  I get rid of ch-ems and previous poisons.  But, varoa disappears.  Maybe I have it, but I am yet to see one.  Even our two bee inspectors that yearly examine my bees (it is the law here) they never saw one eider...

Just thought to mention this. . .

 I do not insulate mine.  I only wrap them in roofing felt (black one) for sollar gain.  warming up a hive in winter is very important - that more often than not saves them.  That little warmth, often not even noticeable by us, that is what enables bees to be able to eat or not.
That is even more important for you friends in warmer regions - your bees are not used to cold temps and they suffer more , are affected more by it.

Regards,
Trot
« Last Edit: January 27, 2011, 03:35:24 PM by Trot » Logged
Trot
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« Reply #42 on: January 27, 2011, 12:46:33 PM »

BlueBee,

personaly I do not put nothing in my hives what bees would not bring in from Nature themselves. 
Bees have a helluva time surviving,  I can't see myself contributing even a little bit to their problems. 
I wish some of you could come visit?  My bees ere something else.  As I of course live almost all year alone in the wilds of Northern Ontario, bees are very dependant and totally friendly.  Whatever I do, they come and investigate.  They sit on my hands and watch.  I have spent 13 years building a great stone retaining wall with circular staircase, they were constantly there.  Even in the midle of the night, when I had to finish/dress  the joints between stones,  they would come and watch.
But than, I have special bond with all the animals at my place.  I have bears passing, checking me out daily and to this day, thank God, they have left my bees alone. But, I do talk to the bears and we have an understanding... they are keeping their word so far.  Even those which I raised  and put away in hand made dens for the winter.  They come and visit, according to our small dogs. (they go hide under my bed when bears roam around)  grin

Back to those hives:
Germans are the ones that invented and perfected them?  I understand that they are great for early build up.  If you have early honey-flow - go for it.
What I don't like is the piece of plastic that has to be placed between the cover and the hive. To keep it from being forever glued together.  That piece of plastic will sure be problematic, because it sweats.  Also no place for inner cover.  Than, for those who still use queen excluders.  For those hives excluders are paper thin, special item I suspect?
(since - I also see that other copy and also use this plastic in their hives not realy knowing what they are doing.  Man constantly forces poor bees on thing that tickle his fancy - never thinking what all those gadgets do to poor bees?)
They tend to be easily damaged by UV - so painting with good paint is a must.
They are also easily damaged when prying apart.  In Germany this is less of a problem cause Carniolan bees don't propolize like some other mutts that we have.
God forbid putting in some of those heavy-propolizers, Russian or worse - Caucasian bees?

I also hear that they are well liked by queen breeders, again because of the heat that they retain and that can be an issue in those mini hives that breeders use. I gues it frees the work force for other tasks?

Regards,
Trot
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Acebird
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« Reply #43 on: January 27, 2011, 01:52:48 PM »

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it is not possible for the surface of the cluster to be as cold as outside, or the bees would freeze. 


I saw some inferred video that suggested this is true.  It was about as scientific as you could get.  There was evidence that the bees on the outer surface were so cold they couldn't move but survive because the bees inner to the outer surface pulled them into the warmer center and revive.  I tend to believe things that have scientific background over much of the guessing that is unsupported.
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Acebird
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« Reply #44 on: January 27, 2011, 02:28:53 PM »

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it is absolutely not meant for ventilation - believe you me. In summer I even cover those holes by placing a piece of 1/4" plywood over them. I don't want no cross-draft going through my hives.
Trot, we lost our first hive last spring due to moisture.  It did not have an upper entrance or a notch in the inner cover.  This year it does and we also had our telescoping cover propped up with a stick in the summer.  This years hive grew much faster than last years and they weren’t all over the face of the hive in the summer like last year.  It is warmer down here then you but not a lot I would say.  It sounds like you feel it is a bad idea to prop the cover in the summer.  How do you know when there is too much ventilation?
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Trot
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« Reply #45 on: January 27, 2011, 06:03:29 PM »

Wow Acebird,

this is a tough one that I am struggling with in order to properly understand it.

Q:
You lost a hive last year to moisture and it did not have a top entrance?
A:
That I can understand and we all know why the hive did not make it.

Q:
This year you have the top entrance and everything is peachy and hive did great?
A:
That is good and as expected.  Keep up the good work.

Q:You also had propped up the telescopic cover with sticks and you feel that I don't like that.
A:
It is not necessarily so.  I do not recall that I mentioned propping the telescopic cover at all?  I am more against the practice of propping the inner cover with sticks, cause that can create many a problem.  I should add that many a keeper use sticks to prop things up and they claim that it works?  Well, if done properly it will work 200% better - Guaranteed!
I can never understand such behaviour, sloppiness or whatever is called and the motivation for that is? 
(maybe they have feelings of love for that inner-cover and would break their heart to cut a notch in it?  I don't know?)
Pssst .... between you and me, it is most likely just plain laziness?
(I also don't like that, about what you did with the cover, but don't recall mentioning it?)
One has, with so doing, opened to the elements 3 sides of the hive, compared to a small opening which is cut into the rim.  Such opening being only 2" wide and 6mm high, that is easy to defend and does not expose 3 complete side to the weather; rain, snow, ice, too much and multidirectional cross-draft, wind and all kinds of creepy crawlies.
Also bees in such hives are more defensive and bitchy, cause they know that hive is vulnerable and they can't do much about it.   Bees get moody if there is too much ventilation also - but here I am a bit more careful by saying this cause beekeeping is fiercely territorial.  That being: some thing work in some locales - some don't so god and some don't work at all.
Give to those 3 sides also the top hole in the center of inner cover and one realy has a problem, which one had created and by doing so one has compromised safety and comfort of such hive.
(such things can also affect the honey yield and sometimes to a greater extent than one realizes.)

Propping the telescoping cover too, gives same if not more problems already described in upper paragraph.
I am a strong believer in a simple fact that all of our beekeeping equipment had been developed, long time ago, it has been tested by long years of use by millions of beeks on hundreds of millions of hives.   There simply just is no way to improve on that proverbial mouse-trap!
What was good has been kept, other stuff kind of went by the way side.  Only from time to time somebody finds it and hopes to reinvent the wheel, as it were.

About the last question?
Only bees know for sure, when there is too much ventilation and one has to learn to watch them. 

You mention ventilation in summer?

There is not realy such a thing - to have too much ventilation in the summer. 
I am talking now about hive above the brood! 
At that time bees need it, because they are drying the honey, eliminating the water from it, that is.  Leaving two brood-chambers alone and one honey-super above, we used to stagger the supers, to give them air.  One gives them only enough room for a single bee to squeeze through.
When they beard, festoon, or sit on front of the hive, as somebody has mentioned, one gives them more air, either by pulling out the drawer-part of the bottom board.  Open more the bottom entrance, only that is not a good practice, cause by full opening all kinds of creatures can get into the hives. From mice, rats, yes rats and snakes even rattlers!
In old days, 20 years ago when we used standard bottom boards, they had a summer and winter side.  One side had 3/4" rim the other only 1/8" or so.  Mine were always set on 1/8" side.  When I operated 5000 hives for others it was their property and they preferred 3/4" side, there I ofcourse used entrance reducers. 
I never have bottom bigger than the 3/8" opening on the standard entrance reducer.  That means I have winter size opening on the bottom.  Additional ventilation I regulate with SBB.  Only by opening it 1" - that is all that is needed at my place and that is only when I notice that they start festooning, bearding or whatever one calls this behaviour.

Now we got to the telescopic cover. 
I make those myself and in back side I drill two 3/4" holes which are drilled on an angle.  That means that I drill them from the bottom side up - into the side of the cover.  By so doing, the rain, no matter how wind driven, it never can drain on top of the hive.  On the inside of those holes I glue a piece of screen to keep unwanted creatures out.  On the inside of the rim/cover I nail 3/4" pieces of wood to create a rim on which the cover sits on top of the hive, this being the homasote which in turn sits tight on the inner-cover.
NO place on/in my hives is there a crack!  Crack meaning, being there by creation; like poor workmanship, twisted boxes, God forbid - propping things up, etc...
In the Summer those cracks, no matter how they got there, they create cross-draft, or just plain draft by wind being able to blow through and across the insides of the hive.  This is crucial only in brood chambers and ofcourse deadly in late Fall through winter and early or even all of Spring.   
I will disclose one more secret to you people.  Too much ventilation - man made, intentional or otherwise - that creates ideal conditions for Varroa to take hold and explode.  What follows I don't have to tell you.  Everybody should know it.  Varroa loves cool conditions.  You all probably already heard, that some claim that on sunny locations Varroa problem is not much of a problem at all.  Well in tight boxes and warm brood chambers, Varroa won't be a problem at all either.

One must work with Nature and not against it, if one hopes to make any strides worth mentioning. . .

Regards,
Trot
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Acebird
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« Reply #46 on: January 27, 2011, 06:45:22 PM »

Thanks for the answer Trot.  So if I understand you correctly you prefer to ventilate from the bottom and not through the inner cover hole.  Correct?
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Vance G
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« Reply #47 on: January 28, 2011, 01:04:25 AM »

 
 TROT 

Thankyou for your hard bought experience.  I kept bees 30 years ago in temperatures like you speak of.  Look on the map where Sask and Manitoba meet on the border with the USA and go a mile south.  I wintered bees there and noted if not understood much of what you are talking about then .  I wrapped my bees which had been fed up to 125 LBS minimum weight in 6" batts of fiberglass insulation and left the bottom entrance open and I had a small top entrance in the front of my cover open too.     I covered the top with the same insulation and coverd that all with the roofing felt you spoke of.  I made sure they could get out.  But in those winters, it was common for no flying days for over four months anyway.  The bottom entrances didn't draw much wind because I put them behind dense hedges and hoped that the tops of the hives were four feet under the top of the snow.  When that snow cover was realized, they wintered very well!  I put them in a double row facing out to do this wrap and when the spring thaw finally came,  the bees would come pouring out of the snow and ice cave melted around them often several feet above the hives.  I was not using an inner cover because I had been assured that they were only toys for hobbyists by my commercial keeper friends and teachers.  I think that was a mistake.   I did use some candy boards on top but the moisture problems you speak of caused me to quit trying to use them.  I need some instruction on proper use of those if you are willing to share your knowledge.  The inside of those snow caves used to look like a tabacco chewer had spent the winter in there with the bees.  I think they did a lot of crawling in their snow cave.  Was not a huge number of dead bees outside the hives so I think they were making it out and back in.   I am starting again now in a warmer better place to winter bees I think.  I  have many things to ask you sir and am looking forward to listening.  I am only sixty and  know I have a lot to learn:<}
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T Beek
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« Reply #48 on: January 28, 2011, 09:11:38 AM »

Trot; just printed off all of your posts Smiley  And I'll likely continue to do so.  Thanks.  Is there an address where I can send you a check?  Seriously, man!

We have "blueslovers" friends we visit (been awhile and we owe them one) in Manitoba (one who grew up in central Ontario). As much as I dislike travling anymore, I believe we may have to make a road trip your way some time in the future (watching gas prices for a sign Undecided).  Thanks again.

thomas
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Trot
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« Reply #49 on: January 28, 2011, 12:24:14 PM »

 You got it, but it is not what I prefer.  All what I am talking about is gained by doing, over the long years and I try my hardest to suit the bees and not me.  I live in a nice house, two of them actually and there should be the place where I can thinker and decorate to my hearts desire?.  
Bees are the ones that live outside in boxes that we stuck them in to.  If they would have a chance I am sure that they would find something diferent than what we put them in?  By the same token, most of them would surely die over the winter.  
Most hard core beeks call this 'Natures way of ensuring the survival of the fittest'.  Which of course is correct but it is also all wrong.  
Mother Nature has nothing to do if bees, for some reason or other, found a home in a rock crevice which is too small, or even in a flood plain, or area where spring thaw will drown them, or at best, make their home damp.  Or they did not collect enough honey, polen, to last them through the winter.  Or are in a tree where the bear will tear them apart?
Bees can not control such things - only we can help them there.  So, when you people find a colony of bees that has found a home, where things might go wrong, it would be nice if you would help them, by cutting them out and saving the little fools.

Now, back to the question at hand.
I have bottom and top entrances.  Would not keep bees without them. (I wish people would forget about centre hole?  Some call it even a handhold?) This, bottom top thing, works well and if bottom friezes or gets buried in snow no harm can befall the bees.  They always have the upper hole.  Even if the whole hive is buried in snow, they will still survive, cause for bees enough oxygen gets through, or is released from snow for them to survive.  They will move around in this cavity under the snow with no ill effect to them.
When I lived in Europe I was active in avalanche rescue, cause I had an German Shepard and we both helped when help was needed.  People survived for long time under the snow as long as it was not packed too tightly around them.. If they were able to move and a bit enlarge such a hole, they said that breathing was not the problem.  
I am not a scientist and have no answers to explain, to inquisitive minds in fancy words, why is so?  All I strive for and care for - is to keep my bees alive and well.

Centre hole, feeding hole is not meant for ventilation, cause it draws, creates cross-draft through the cluster.  I wrote about that already?   But, if the hive was under the snow, than this is negligible and does no harm.  It would be a diferent story if the hive was out in the open, or worse, when wind is howling!  There are many a variables over which one can debate and even argue for ever.
If something works for me, I am satisfied and I have no further need to go and nitpick, tear everything down and give myself more questions than I know the answers to.  All I know is, poking around and grasping hopelessly for straws, such doing will only give me some more gray hairs, perhaps a headache or two and nothing more.

I always cary in my mind some words from a "swamp person" from a Louisiana bayou, making a living catching gators. Some time ago, National Geographic had sent there a team of scientists and a film crew, to record what was going on.  They were even concerned that too many a gator was being cut?  (It's a tree-hugger thing) This man did not like the idea of city-slickers being there, much less - that he was forced by a processor that he takes those people into the swamps and show them what it takes to make a living catching gators on a fishing hook.  Man did not like it, but said that he must go by their time honouring tradition, that one does not bite the hand that feeds him.
After much stalling, showing of and acting macho, by the visiting crew, the man turned to the most mouthy scientist and calmly told him this:  "Mista, you just shut you mouth right now!  You may be book smart, but you ain't no common sense smart!  Here is a diferent ball game!  Here a common sense means if you live, or you die!  No book will save your sorry ass here."

Regards,
Trot



Thanks for the answer Trot.  So if I understand you correctly you prefer to ventilate from the bottom and not through the inner cover hole.  Correct?
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BlueBee
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« Reply #50 on: January 28, 2011, 12:59:28 PM »

Trot,

Thank you so much for all this great info!  I’ve been using foam hives, but I do want to try to winter a hive or two in wood like you have described here so well.  I will do that next winter. 

I have a question about your candy board.  You said earlier that you switched over to using a candy board and starting your bees right under it in the fall.  They needed food over their heads, you said.  That all made sense to me.

So my question is, did your candy board replace your inner cover?  Did you notch a hole in the front of the candy board and is that what your bees are using for a top entrance?

Thanks.
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« Reply #51 on: January 28, 2011, 01:07:07 PM »

Alas, it is true what you say Trot.  That's why I follow your posts.  You know, I've hunted gator  a few times in louisianna with a pretty salty fellow (no BS) and can relate as well to that (but I still wouldn't try that alone, uh-uh, no way).

Fortunately for me (a beek without available local mentors or clubs for guidance) I still have you and others on this forum, along with an ever increasing librairy and plenty of determination to do things right, even if I have to do it wrong first grin  I've got the scars to prove it Wink.  

And it doesn't hurt having the "common sense"  to know that bees don't have nearly as big a teeth as gators grin

thomas
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« Reply #52 on: January 28, 2011, 01:50:41 PM »

My one cent:

I was born in Tampa, FL, lived in Pittsburgh for three years which is where I started to keep bees, and now am back in Florida keeping bees. 

My second winter I went in with 3 hives and all died.  I did not have any ventilation because I assumed with all the snow, they needed heat more than ventilation.  When I opened up the hives in early spring, it smelled like mead.  I realize that statistically, this is an N=3, but it is my experience.  What I mean to say is that I killed the bees with excess moisture, not cold.

Thank you elders for you thoughtful and instructive posts.

Bruce
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« Reply #53 on: January 28, 2011, 02:39:44 PM »

Quote
When I opened up the hives in early spring, it smelled like mead.


Maybe you got them drunk and they got in a wreck trying to get back to the cluster.  He, he.  grin
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kathyp
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« Reply #54 on: January 28, 2011, 02:49:33 PM »

hive smell funky in spring.  those dead on the bottom decay.  you might also have had some fermented honey in there.
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.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

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Trot
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« Reply #55 on: January 28, 2011, 02:52:02 PM »

Trot,

Thank you so much for all this great info!  I’ve been using foam hives, but I do want to try to winter a hive or two in wood like you have described here so well.  I will do that next winter. 

I have a question about your candy board.  You said earlier that you switched over to using a candy board and starting your bees right under it in the fall.  They needed food over their heads, you said.  That all made sense to me.

So my question is, did your candy board replace your inner cover?  Did you notch a hole in the front of the candy board and is that what your bees are using for a top entrance?

Thanks.




Yes, candy board does replace the inner cover.
Yes I also cut the notch in to the rim/frame.  They need top entrance regardless what one puts on top.
All that said, as soon the weather warms up the candy board are taken of, stored for next year and inner covers go back on, plus homasote and of course also the Styrofoam.  I now keep Styrofoam on year round.  It insulates against cold as well as against summer heat.


Regards,
trot
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« Reply #56 on: January 28, 2011, 03:12:31 PM »

If I understand this correct, candy boards lie on top "candy side down" right?  For bottom access to candy right?.  Do you use stples or nails through the sides to assure it from falling on top of bees.  Help me with this candy board stuff.  I've got some cut offs from deeps I cut down to mediums that might make good candy boards if I put covers on, use them to feed sugar now.

Up to this point I've only fed my bees syrup, fondant or dry sugar and honey when able.  A "Candy" board is something else, right?  More like a hard solid candy?  Thanks.

thomas
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« Reply #57 on: January 28, 2011, 05:24:49 PM »

Thomas,

here is the link to one site where this is now explained to the world.  
Instead of candy board he calls it sugar board.
One thing:  Make 2 inch frame as shown in there and staple wire screen on and tap it down well with a hammer.  Than cur a few pine strips. As wide as the material of the frame, usualy is 3/4".  Cut this 3/8" thick and smudge some outdoor glue on it and nail it down on the perimeter of this frame - on top of the screen.  Where you need the entrance, just cut the strip off and leave a gap - move over an inch or two and start again.  That gap is than your top entrance.
When pouring candy, pour only  up to the screen.  Before you pour.  Put a few bricks on the frame and place a few pieces of two by four or something ... to make sort of a fance.  Put the wood under the plastic, tight to the frame.  I find that sugar tends to leak all over the floor  and makes a mess, costs money too...
When stuff cools off, over night, place this on the hive, screen/notch down of course...  This should be done in the fall, cause doing it in cold of winter is hard on bees and opening a hive in winter will usualy do them in.  At least that is what beeks report back to me.

Don't bother with candy in the frame.  It is the same as the food that bees already have, but can't get to it. That is good for locales where is not cold and bees can move about - but is too cold for them to take regular sugar syrup. Where is cold the food has to be above their head.  On top of cluster.  In contact with the cluster, etc...

You mentioned about coming our way?  Sure, door is open...


http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/beekeeping/emergency-feeding/



Regards,
Trot
« Last Edit: January 28, 2011, 05:34:54 PM by Trot » Logged
T Beek
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« Reply #58 on: January 28, 2011, 05:37:07 PM »

Very cool, thanks for the turn on Frank.  Its just what I was asking for.  Is that the same robo who's around here all the time?  Didn't know he had his own site, which I've just added to my faves.

thanks again.

thomas
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Vance G
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« Reply #59 on: January 28, 2011, 07:28:02 PM »

Thank you for the candy board link and the I will need to make some of those honey frames before I get my nucs this spring.
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